If you are in charge of coordinating a science fair at your school, it is best to start about 9 to 12 months ahead of time. The following list will help you through the process.
A cover letter from the principal and the science fair coordinator to introduce the science fair to parents.
Introduce science fair and the reasons students should participate in the program.
Provide a timeline of important project dates, after-school work sessions and the actual science fair date.
Provide an overview of the rules
Explain the parents role in the childs project.
Request volunteers and provide a list of possible duties.
Request mentors to help students with projects.
Request prize donations.
Announce dates for the science fair.
Provide rules and forms to the students as they plan their projects.
Collect student applications for review. Assign project numbers.
Conduct after-school project work sessions when students are done with projects and are ready to assemble their exhibit board.
Schedule a classroom that can be used for project work after school.
Schedule parent or college student volunteers to help and mentor students at the after-school sessions.
Have supplies, felt pens, construction paper, and computers for word processing available if possible. Note: Allow students to leave their boards at school if possible. (You will need a secure location to store project boards between sessions.)
Recruit and prepare judges
Prepare a scoring rubric that provides judges with a way to assign a point total for each project. (See judging guidelines for Intel ISEF scale).
Supply your judges with your scoring rubric prior to the fair to allow them time to become familiar and to ask questions as needed.
Review judging criteria with your judges the day of the fair. Note: If possible, have each project judged by two judges. This will be helpful if there are any issues regarding a project.
Arrange for ribbons and awards
Order ribbons and certificates for students (You may be able to create the certificates with a word processor). Allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery.
Decide if anyone will receive medals and order them.
If prizes are donated, decide how they will be awarded.
Present prizes at school awards ceremony.
Volunteers are a crucial part of any science fair. Here are some thoughts on how you can recruit and use volunteers for your fair.
Volunteers can be recruited to help in the following positions:
Sample Volunteer Recruiting Letter
Dear Parents, Staff and those interested in fostering science activities for students:
Our school will be holding its annual science fair on (insert your date here). We hope to repeat the success of last year and have a fair with many exciting student projects. As you know, to have a successful Science Fair, the help of many individuals is required. You can ensure a rewarding experience for our participants by volunteering time in one or more of the following activities:
Be a mentor. Help students design and make their science project exhibit board.
Help at after-school workshops (sign up for one or more 90 minute sessions).
Check in students at fair day
Help set up room for fair day
Clean up at fair day
Help students set up their projects for exhibit
Provide refreshments for judges
Provide transportation to school or local Intel ISEF-affiliated fair
Please consider how you might be able to contribute to our school fair and contact (insert the science fair coordinator here). Your help is essential to the success of our fair!
If you have a student at our school you may return your form to the science teacher. We look forward to a great fair. Your help will make it possible.
Science Fair Coordinator